07 August 2013

USA Pro Challenge in Breckenridge

Attending The Race - Race Day Planning in Breckenridge, PART 1 of 2

PEDAL DANCER FAN GUIDE - Stage 2 and Stage 3 - USA Pro Challenge 2013

The USA Pro Challenge returns to Breckenridge, Colorado, for the third year. Breckenridge has played Host City in every USA Pro Challenges race to date. With options for entering the town from the south or north over climbs before finishing in a quintessentially picturesque Colorado mountain town, Breckenridge is well suited for vacationing spectators and fast approaching bike racers.

The town of Breckenridge has a week chalk-full of activities for visitors and the Breckenridge Visitor Center (GoBreck) has created a fantastic website for spectators. And so my job here is done. I am only half kidding, because it really is that good.

Official City of Breckenridge USA Pro Challenge website for spectators wanting to see the race.

USA Pro Challenge rolls into Breckenridge. Photo © by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
They provide exact information for:
In fact I am ready to go today, simply because this town makes me feel so welcome! I love a town that opens its arms to cyclists and especially to a pro bike race. I will be there for both the Finish of Stage 2 and the Start of Stage 3.

Breckenridge gets ready for the race in 2012. Photo © by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Downtown Breckenridge in 2011. Photo © by Karen at Pedal Dancer®

Official 2013 Spectator Guide

Stage 2
Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Route Map Stage 2: Route Map
Route Profile Stage 2: Route Profile
Miles: 126.1
Climb: 12,250ft
KOM points at: Independence Pass and Hoosier Pass
Sprint points at: Beuna Vista and Fairplay
Last Climb: Hoosier Pass, 11,542 ft (3,518 m), 10 miles south of downtown
Finish 3:25-3:45pm approximate finish in Breckenridge
Location: Downtown Breckenridge, elevation 9,600 ft (2,926 m)
Stage Sponsor: First Bank

Stage 3
Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Route Map Stage 3: Route Map
Route Profile Stage 3: Route Profile
Miles: 105.8,
Climb: 5865 ft
Start 12:10pm in Breckenridge
Location: Downtown Breckenridge, elevation 9,600 ft (2,926 m)
First Climb: Swan Mountain, 11 miles north of downtown Breckenridge
KOM points at: Rabbit Ears Pass
Sprint points at: Silverthorne and Kremmling
Stage Sponsor: Nissan
Finish: 4:45pm approximate finish in Steamboat Springs

USA Pro Cycling:  Website    Facebook    Twitter   YouTube

Stage 2 jersey USA Pro Challenge. Buy
Stage 3 jersey USA Pro Challenge. Buy

Stage 2

Hoosier Pass should be lots of fun for fans. Once the riders descend into town 10-miles away, they will do a big clockwise loop around town swinging back to finish heading north along Main Street. The finish is near the Blue River Plaza, at the Corner of Washington and S. Main St, The finish is expected at approximately 3:25-3:45pm. You will want to get to the area by 11:30am and get in place along the route by 1pm to avoid road closures in and around Breckenridge.

I would head up Hoosier Pass by noon to make sure you can get both around town via Park Ave. and then get to the top of the pass. Ride your bike if you can, because parking will be limited the later you go. General spectator parking should be signed as you enter the town of Breckenridge, some of the lots are used for the Festival and Team Parking. No dogs are allowed at the event. The roads in and out should begin to open up by 5:00pm.

Stage 3

Be parked and where you want to be for the stage start by 9am in the morning. Stage 3 begins at 12:10pm on Main St, where the riders will sign-in and line up at the start line. They will do two ceremonial (neutral start) laps around town and then exit north on Hwy 9 headed straight for Swan Mountain 11-miles away.  Swan Mountain Rd (the road will close at 10:00am) is a great place for cyclists to ride out and have some fun. The roads in and out of Breckenridge should begin to open up by 1:00pm.

Finish line (and start line and sign-in stage) of the USA Pro Challenge in Breckenridge in 2011. Photo © by Karen at Pedal Dancer®

Stage 2

Details: Stage 2: Aspen to Breckenridge – Tuesday, Aug. 20
Finish: 3:25-3:45pm
Miles: 126.1 (202.9km)
Stage 2 Route Map

Stage 2 Route Profile

The last kms of Stage 2 into Breckenridge.
Route around town, Stage 2 Finish, USA Pro Challenge in Breckenridge
Stage 2: Aspen to Breckenridge – Tuesday, Aug. 20

Official Comments: While much of the Stage 2 course has been used in previous years, 2013 will mix things up by taking the riders in different directions, creating a unique new stage. The familiar battleground of Independence Pass will be anything but easy as riders ascend the 12,000 ft. climb, the highest point reached in any professional cycling race. Then they’ll continue on through some familiar spots as the race zooms through Buena Vista, Fairplay and Alma, before tackling Hoosier Pass from the south this year. But it’s not over until it’s over, so before crossing the line the riders will have to conquer the nasty 15 percent grade of Moonstone Rd. in the heart of Breckenridge, before bombing down Boreas Pass to the waiting crowd.

Pedal Dancer® comments: Independence Pass all over again, the riders will arrive so quickly at the summit, fans will barely have time to dress in costume and start their song and dance. This is a hit the ground climbing kind of stage. Look for some strong Continental team riders to start strong. They will be flying down Independence Pass and into Buena Vista. The stretch of road between Buena Vista and Fairplay is not a road I would like to ride (again) on a bike. A big road with fast traffic, it is not the most scenic for amateur cyclists, the pros however will cover this section quickly with the aid of rolling road closures. The final climb of the day over Hoosier Pass will see lots of fans and establish the race leaders for the week ahead. Breckenridge will be full out fun for fans. These stages are also mid-week which could mean less crowds, but every year Breckenridge has been packed with fans.

Stage 3

Details: Stage 3:  Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs – Wednesday, Aug. 21
Start: 12:10am
Miles: 106.1 (170.8km)
Stage 3 Route Map

Exit route from Breckenridge Stage 3
Route from Breckenridge over Swan Mountain and left to Dillon, before taking Hwy 9 to Steamboat.
Stage 3 Route Profile

Stage 3:  Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs – Wednesday, Aug. 21

Official Comments: Stage 3 will be difficult to predict for even the biggest cycling fans. Can the climbers hold off the field or can the sprinters hang on? Stage 3 of this year’s USA Pro Challenge is wide open for the taking. After leaving Breckenridge, Swan Mountain Rd. provides a great launch pad for breakaways as the riders weave north to Kremmling, but it’s all just a prelude to the day’s main showdown on Rabbit Ears Pass. Climbing the challenging eastern slope will give the climbers a chance, but they will have to hold off the sprinters for 20 miles after cresting the top as they head downtown Steamboat Springs. Can they do it? Or will there be a repeat of 2011’s thrilling and monstrous field sprint?

Pedal Dancer® comments: Morning viewing near the team buses and start line in Breckenridge should be great, with plenty of your favorite rider sightings. Swan Mountain is an easy 11-mile bike ride outside of town and should have a fun grouping of fans waiting on top for the riders to pass. Rabbit Ears Pass, 21-miles southeast of Steamboat Springs, or the VIP tent in Steamboat, will be the places to be on race day. The race today will be about team work, chasing down any breakaways and getting the lighter faster sprinters over the final climb and into position to sprint for the finish line. Look for a clean, fast, sprint finish into Steamboat Springs. Nissan is the sponsor of Stage 3 - so look for some good swag!

USA PRO CHALLENGE comes to Breckenridge. Photo © by Karen at Pedal Dancer®

Riders in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge
Teams for 2013 USA Pro Challenge announced
Bissell team car and young fans in Breckenridge in 2012. Photo © by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
* For PART II of this post, please transfer to How & Where to Watch the USA Pro in Breckenridge for more information about:
Other PEDAL DANCER FAN GUIDES - USA Pro Challenge race day planning, travel guides, city special events, route maps and profiles, road closures, and stage start and finish times.

I have chased pro races for 13 years on the Continent and in Europe. I am now granted the thrill to be Media at some of the races but am always in touch with my roots as a fan. I share with you my inside tips on how to see and enjoy a professional cycling race. My love of travel, maps, photographs and human interest blend with the love of any bike and a good competition in sports. Welcome and enjoy the ride! (About Pedal Dancer®)

USA Pro Challenge in Aspen and Snowmass
USA Pro Challenge in Breckenridge (Part 1)
How & Where to Watch the USA Pro in Breckenridge (Part 2)
USA Pro Challenge in Steamboat Springs
USA Pro Challenge in Beaver Creek
USA Pro Challenge in Vail
USA Pro Challenge in Loveland and Fort Collins
USA Pro Challenge in Fort Collins
USA Pro Challenge in Denver

For more information please visit the PEDAL DANCER GUIDE PAGE: USA PRO CHALLENGE

Official website: http://www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com/